The Grand Opening

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Drama/Western, 1996

Synopsis Duncan ("Hugh Jackman") is feeling that he doesn't measure up to the high standards set by Matt ("Andrew Clarke").Hannah Kirov ("Karmen Raspovic") has the town wondering what she is up to as she takes delivery of a lot of exotic looking supplies, but remains tight-lipped about their purpose.Meanwhile there's trouble at Langara when it appears that 'duffers' (cattle thieves) have taken some of the stock. Matt asks Duncan to help investigate the cattle's disappearance.Meanwhile the McGregor women interview potential replacements for the departed housekeeper, Mrs Tan, who left following a dispute with Danni about how to run the kitchen. An overbearing Northern Irishwoman, Mary Kelly ("Denise Roberts") elbows her way into the position, and instantly lays down the law about the way she expects things to be done; irritating everyone in the process. It is revealed that Hannah's big secret is the opening of a Russian tea room. The McGregor family are her first customers, but even among her friends, there aren't many takers for the unfamiliar menu choices. A further problem arises when Jack Mason ("Ernie Gray"), the hotel owner, reacts badly to the competition Hannah's new venture represents to him.Montana ("Gabrielle Fitzpatrick") and Duncan team up to investigate the cattle duffers, and Duncan discovers the culprits at work, but loses them in a chase, making him feel even more inadequate and, as a consequence, determined to prove his worth to Matt. He sets out alone into the bush to track the thieves and spends the night in the open, where he is haunted by nightmares about his past. When he returns empty-handed, angry and berating himself, Matt tries to get to the bottom of whatever is troubling the younger man, but gets no response.Mason visits Hannah to gloat about the failure of her catering business, now that he has undercut her prices and lured away all her potential customers, prompting Danni to come up with a plan of action.Meanwhile, Mary Kelly continues to alienate the her new employers, until Danni finds the key to her softer side, and saves Hannah's restaurant into the bargain.Duncan apprehends the person behind the cattle thefts, and discovers that it is none other than hotelier Mason. He hands the crook over to the authorities, happy that at last he has done something to win Matt's respect.

Directed by Julian McSwiney  

Starring Andrew Clarke, Brett Climo, Guy Pearce, Sheryl Munks, Kristie Raymond, more...

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